NGOs in Nepal are committed to investigating alternative energy sources, supporting local economic projects, and promoting gender equality, and more for holistic development. With the globalization of modern times, international interests and concerns draw Nepal into contact with more distant corners of the world. There is now a multitude of non-governmental organizations working in Nepal, mostly headquartered in the Kathmandu Valley. According to the 2019 report, there is a total number of 50,358 NGOs in Nepal with 25,992 registered in Province 3. It is estimated that there are more than 15, 000 NGOs working in various sectors in Nepal. Some are international NGOs and some are purely Nepali, some are long-running whereas some are start-ups. The evolutionary process of NGOs in Nepal from a historical perspective has rather been slow compared to the rest of the world. There are very limited references related to the concept of institutionalization of social service in Nepal. The first pioneering social institution in the history of the social service sector of Nepal was ‘Gandhi Memorial Charkha Pracharak Guthi.’ Many people see NGOs as the representatives who are working for transformation in the country. Despite thousands of NGOs and significant amounts of foreign aid, Nepal remains one of the poorest countries in South Asia. The case of Nepal indicates that aid and donor support alone are insufficient for sustained development. There are over 70,000 NGOs in Nepal, but only 20% are functionally active. That is due to the lack of long-term planning and research.

In general, low-income countries like Nepal have weak governance; poor resources, and high unemployment. These countries have inadequate national budgets to support universal health and education coverage and rely on the support of private organizations. Over time these NGOs have become fertile land for the growth of the nation. Due to remoteness and poverty in the different regions of Nepal, the government itself cannot go to all remote and deprived areas proportionally, therefore, the NGOs/INGO easily entered and penetrated in such locations, and they wanted and unwanted activities have spread all over the country. As society forged ahead and advanced the scope, the role of NGOs has broadened its realm become all social problem-poverty sickness, suffering, and social disorganizations have existed throughout human history. Exposure to a series of unwanted activities of INGOs forced the government and people to consider seriously regulating them. Thereafter, there have been lots of criticism, comments, discussion, and arguments on the governing system and behavior of NGOs/INGOs. They created their expensive structures in districts, instead, encouraging local communities to perform. The issue of good governance and the transparency of the donor community were raised. It is found that INGOs and donor communities issue directives of their respective country and organizations instead of the needs of the government and people of Nepal.

Operation of NGOs in Nepal

NGOs play an important role in the national development of the country. Public welfare activities are based on the tradition of gaining religious merit and fame, promoting the welfare of others, and assisting the people. NGOs in Nepal rely heavily on foreign aid, and donors coordinate development aid policy through the Nepal Development Forum, whose members include donor countries, international financial institutions (such as the World Bank), and inter-governmental organizations (such as the United Nations). The United Kingdom is Nepal's largest bilateral aid donor and the World Bank and Asian Development Bank are the largest multilateral donors. Some of the INGOs based in Nepal also rely heavily on their global brother/sister organization for funding. Different NGOs make themselves accessible by making their Websites to start a Non-Profit Organization in Nepal. One can quickly and very easily attract volunteers and donors and also provide information to your potential beneficiaries’ through the website. They also continue building networks with persons in regional and international communities. The connections with people, local government, funding organizations, religious organizations, and other places that can relate closely to your NGO’s work, and will be the funding source in the near successive future. 

Formulation of NGO in Nepal

The registration is a small yet very important part to start a Non-Profit Organization in Nepal. Every NGO in Nepal is registered at the District Administration Office (“DAO”) of the relevant district where the NGO is to be established. Further, tax registration must be done at the Inland Revenue Department following the completion of registration at the DAO. After the registration at the DAO, an affiliation certificate can be obtained from the Social Welfare Council. The Social Welfare Council Act, 1992 was enacted, replacing the then SSNCC Act, 1977. According to this act, the Social Welfare Council (SWC) was constituted as a governmental agency to look after the NGO affairs both externally assisted and traditional self-supported. The governing laws for NGOs are as follows: 

  • Social Welfare Act 1992; 
  • Associations Registration Act 1977; and 
  • Relevant guidelines adopted by the Social Welfare Council.

Role in civil society

NGOs in Nepal often aim to promote understanding between citizens and the state. NGOs contribute to civil society by providing a means to actively express and address the diverse and complex needs of society. It motivates citizens in all aspects of society to act instead of relying on state power and charity. NGO activities include, but are not limited to, environmental, social, advocacy, and human rights work. They can work to promote social or political change on a broad scale or very locally. NGOs play a vital role in the development of society, improving communities, and promoting civic participation through proper utilization of available resources aiming at holistic development.

Challenges faced by NGOs in Nepal

In today's competitive and dynamic world it generates challenges for all the participating organizations working for the uplifting and bringing change. Nevertheless, non-governmental organizations face specific obstacles regarding their particular nature. Some of the most frequent challenges are as follows:

  1. Difficulties to get funds: The majority of NGOs are on the verge of extinction due to experiencing difficulties in getting enough, and continuous funding to do their work. Getting donors is a hard task, and sometimes dealing with some specific donor’s funding conditions can be an enormous challenge for NGOs. Additionally, most non-governmental organizations have a high level of dependency on donors’ funds, which makes them even more susceptible to donor performance.
  2. Lack of proper networking: Most of the NGOs have high difficulties with the network which leads to a lack of communication if the non-governmental organizations do not disclose what they are doing for a certain community. The efforts can be duplicated, conflicts about the ways a certain problem should be faced in a region could arise, and they could be missing the opportunity to learn best practices from other NGOs. The lack of a proper networking environment in an organization leads to misleading decisions and the collapse of the institution.
  3. Lack of governance: Having a Board is one of the best ways to achieve good levels of governance, nevertheless, there is a significant number of NGOs that do not have a good understanding of governance, and do not think governance is relevant for their organizations. Several non-governmental organizations do not have a Board, one of the main reasons for that is the difficulty to attract board members without paying them or offering them any benefits.  In addition, some NGOs’ funds are poorly managed because they do not have proper accounting and analysis to use the funds according to the instructions of the NGO owners.
  4. Poor technical awareness: In today's technological world, various NGOs are still unaware of its functions and tools, which has a huge impact on the sustainability of their organizations. NGOs in Nepal are still struggling to keep up with the pace of the modern world, and some donors do not have their websites and sources for the information, where Nepali NGOs face difficulties in getting access to hundreds of thousands of opportunities and are compelled to miss one.
Non-governmental organizations face multiple challenges, but one of the most important steps to overcome these obstacles is to identify what are challenges that an organization is facing, and the areas where there is room to improve, after identifying these key areas organizations can design a plan to improve, and hopefully overcome the obstacles they are facing. 

Prepared by: Swikriti Parajuli

I’m a student and I believe in learning and sharing. Besides community development, I’m passionate about arts, music, and sports. 

ICA Nepal is an experienced team dedicated to working in the field of human capacity building, and community development through advanced methods. It pursues to recognize people’s initiation, creativity, and enthusiasm in bringing sustainable development by considering existing cultural dynamics and pluralities. It is committed to creating an environment, in which the opportunity to participate and the construction of sustainable change and development is foremost.


Unknown said...

Toooo Nice
Thank you so much Sir
For your precious help.


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